According to research that has been carried out over the past decade, it has come to light that cases of dual diagnosis abound and occur with very regular frequency. About 10 million people in America are affected by this condition. The terms ‘co-occurring’ and ‘dually diagnosed’ are used interchangeably with the terms ‘co-morbidity’, ‘co-morbid disorders’, concurrent disorders’ as well as ‘dual disorder’. Victims of dual diagnosis are faced with multiple psychosocial issues as they suffer from two illnesses that are interacting with each other.
Co-occurring disorders refers to a condition where a person is addicted to drugs while also suffering from a psychiatric or emotional sickness. The treatment programs that are equipped to deal with this kind of situation make use of treatment methods whose effectiveness in treatment has been proven over years of use. These are the methods that these facilities use to treat mental illness and addiction problems. They are fully confident in the effectiveness of these methods when they use them to treat dual diagnosis cases.
There are assorted forms of co-occurring disorders and these are determined by the patterns that are evident from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. The main thing in the treatment of co-occurring disorders is that both the psychiatric and emotional aspects of the problem must be addressed to find the best cure for the illnesses. The programs that offer this kind of treatment are comprehensive in that they ensure that the patient is completely healed.
Psychiatric disorders may cause impairment in varying degrees from mild to severe. They can also happen in a mixed trend. Some patients experience cycles and occasional episodes. When drugs and alcohol are under consideration the illness becomes more complex. The drugs for treating this illness may be used in a combination or singly according to the wishes of the patient. The dosage of this medication may also vary.
Issues that are commonly seen with co-occurring disorders:
- Family Problems – Family situations related to drug addicts may well end in divorce or separation.
- Legal Problems – Dealing in drugs is illegal and those involved may be jailed if they are convicted.
- High-Risk Behavior – This occurs when the sick person engages in activities that will support their use of drugs.
- Increased Acute Health Care needs – The health of drug users who need acute health care is on the rise and this puts pressure on the tax payer.
- Social Problems – In areas where there is significant use of drugs, crime rates are high and many young people in those areas are involved in gangs.
- Emergency Health Issues – Drug users often suffer emergency health complications like seizures and heart attacks that are life-threatening in nature.
Many people who have co-occurring disorders have been found to use both drugs and alcohol. This is why their treatment must address both aspects of the illness. If one aspect is ignored then the addict will not be fully cured and will be likely to relapse into drug use once more. A comprehensive program helps the addict to live life without the use of drugs.